- Take off your shoes when you get home! Did you know that 80% of indoor air pollutants are tracked in off the streets?
- When painting, only use low or zero voc (volatile organic compound) paints. If you can smell it, it is toxic.
- Only use cleaning products made from safe, natural and non-toxic ingredients.
- Buy local, seasonal and organic. Visit www.cenyc.org to locate your nearest farmers market.
- Swap out incandescent bulbs for warm tone CFL’s (try the 2700k or an LED alternative).
- Refinish wood floors with low-voc urethane or water based floor finish.
- Use low–voc caulk, sealant, and grout in bathrooms & kitchens.
- If replacing floors, use cork, marmoleum, bamboo, FSC certified or reclaimed wood.
- If replacing carpets, use natural, sustainable, recycled and/or long lasting fibers.
- Consider kitchen countertops made from a variety of recycled materials.
- Install low flow taps, showerheads and toilets.
- Buy FSC-certified furniture or go vintage.
- Have a garden? Capture rain water for re-use and feed your plants with eco-fertilizers.
- Use organic linens & towels and make sure the dyes used are also safe and natural. Replace and clean air filters.
- Make sure your windows, doors, roofs, and basements are properly insulated.
- Install light colored solar shades in windows to block and reflect the sun in the summer which will reduce your cooling costs too.
- Install and use ceiling fans instead of air conditioning when you can.
- Compost your food waste either with a countertop composter or start a building-wide initiative.
- Is your street lacking trees? Contact www.milliontreesnyc.org.
- Designate a bike room or bike racks for your building.
- Buy Energy Star appliances but remember to keep them maintained in order to reap their benefits.
- Want a roaring fire? Save a tree and try an eco-friendly firelog.
- Support your local community garden or park – find out more at www.nycgovparks.org.
- Buy in bulk if you have the space. It saves money, energy and resources.
- Nix the car and join a pay-as-you-go car membership club.
- Don’t toss away – find someone who will “re-purpose” your no-longer-needed furniture, electronics, etc.
- Forgo the dry cleaners and wash by hand or find your local CO2 cleaners or wet cleaner.
- Pests are inevitable – skip the toxic fumes and use an eco-friendly exterminator.
- Educate yourself on NYC’s 25-year sustainable future plan at www.planyc2030.org.
- Sign up for the NYCWasteLe$$, Apartment Building Recycling Initiative (ABRI) through www.nyc.gov to learn what’s recyclable and how to do it.
- Unplug small appliances when not in use and plug electronics into a power strip for easy on and off - avoid phantom energy loss - your wallet will thank you.
If every one of us did just one thing on this list...it would make a world of difference in our world.
Mitchell Hall, Associate Broker
The Corcoran Group